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Does Allergen Immunotherapy Have a Role in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma?

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There is evidence from epidemiologic studies, supported by more intensive study of selected groups of subjects, for the importance of allergy in initiating and contributing to the severity of bronchial asthma. Furthermore, removal of allergen exposure is followed by improvement in both symptoms and evidence of airway inflammation. Allergen immunotherapy reduces the sensitivity of the respiratory tract to allergens, blocks the influx of eosinophils and mucosal mast cells in response to allergen exposure, and alters the pattern of cytokine release by T-Iymphocytes, generally decreasing Th2-related cytokines (IL-4) and increasing those related to the Th1 response (interferon-gamma, IL-2, IL-12). It would be remarkable, given these alterations in responsiveness produced by allergen immunotherapy, if this treatment were not effective in bronchial asthma. Indeed, an analysis of controlled studies of allergen immunotherapy does indicate that it is clinically effective in carefully selected, allergic asthmatics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 1997

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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